last weekend AP and I  ventured up to seattle for a couple days of clean air, great food, and killer brews.

  • saturday afternoon we stopped by elysian brewing to try some of their lineup.  elysian distributes down in CA, and I never really fell for any of their bottles, but I figured that it might be different from the source.  unfortunately, even on draft at the brewery, their beers were hit-or-miss.  their prometheus IPA was pretty tasty, but their men’s room red, bifrost winter ale, and loser pale ale were all forgettable.  paired with mediocre food, the whole experience was a bust.
  • undaunted, we moved on to the stumbling monk, which made up for the last experience in spades.  the tap and bottle list wasn’t huge, but was full of great choices, and the environemnt was cozy and dark.  AP picked up a pour of la folie, while I tried dogfish’s pangaea, which was well made but not my style.  after trying a taste of new belgium’s “wild ale” and a pour of midnight sun’s cohoho, AP dragged me out of there before I could pick up a bottle of cascade apricot.
  • we ended the night at collins pub with some great food and some brews from boundary bay (cabin fever), laurelwood, and pike (kilt lifter scotch – a hoppy red ale?).
  • even after saturday’s plethora of great beers, sunday was where it got interesting.  after hitting up some farmer’s markets around town, we headed over to brouwer’s cafe to catch what i thought were the stragglers from their big wood festival.
  • however, instead of happening only on 12/2, the event lasted all week.  this meant that brouwer’s had an INSANE draft selection- quite possibly the best I have ever seen.  AP and I tried cantillon’s framboise ’06, st. lamnivus, and vignerone; cascade’s kriek; new belgium’s eric’s ale; and russian river’s supplicationall on draft. in fact, we couldn’t even get past their “sour wood” selection into their “big wood” selection of killer strong barrel aged beers.
  • their bottle selection was staggering as well, and included tons of cantillon, fantome, drie fonteinen, and other rare beers.  their frites were top notch too.  I could have spent all day at the bar chatting up their bartender and sliding deeper into my stool, but after a few we left and headed over to bottleworks, their sister bottle shop.
  • after ogling the selection at brouwer’s, I figured I wasn’t going to be able to contain myself at bottleworks.  however, after scanning their coolers for a good fifteen minutes, I found their selection to be pretty mediocre (compared to heavyweights like healthy spirits and port bottle shop).  I’m not sure whether this was a result of big wood, since online reviews claim that this place is the bee’s knees.  I did manage to pick up a couple bottles, and the staff was friendly, but I left a little disappointed.
  • seattle turned out to be a great city full of great people, food, events, and beers.  I will definitely be back, and will likely time it with a brouwer’s cafe event, which is worth the trip alone.

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